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    FIGHTING IRISH

    Feb. 2, 2013

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    Notre Dame Quotes

    Head Coach Muffet McGraw

    Opening statement...
    "I thought we did some pretty good things in the first half. I though we had a couple of nice runs. Kayla McBride came out ready. I mean, she was really ready. We were trying to get her the ball as much as possible. I thought Sky [Diggins] did a really good job of finding her and calling the offenses that would get her some shots. In the second half, I thought Kaila Turner gave us great minutes off the bench - all 11 points in the second half, she really stepped up when we needed a little bit of poise and composure. Other than that, I thought our defense on (Cincinnati guard Dayeesha) Hollins was pretty good. We were trying to hold her to single digits and we did a pretty good job there."

    On holding Dayeesha Hollins to single digits...
    "I think she missed some shots. I mean, she only took nine. I think the foul trouble in the first half hurt her a little bit and helped us a little bit."

    On Skylar Diggins...
    "She actually talked yesterday about really trying to find Kayla [McBride] and Natalie [Achonwa] and really trying to get them going. Coming off a big game that she had, she just felt like it's time to get the rest of the team going. She came out and, from the get-go, was really looking for both of them. I thought she did a good job. I thought she could have scored a little more, especially in the second half when she had that layup and decided not to take it. I thought that was a little bit of a momentum shift in the game, which didn't hurt us too badly but plays like that you really need to make."

    On the energy throughout the game...
    "I thought we looked sluggish. Our pace was too slow. They were very deliberate on offense, and I think we kind of got lulled into that. We can't do that because we play Villanova next and they're going to do the same thing. We've got to be able to set to tone and the tempo. I thought we did a better job later in the first half, but initially we were walking it up and matching their pace instead of setting it."

    Kayla McBride • Junior • Guard

    On getting her shot back after going through slump...
    "After Tennessee, I watched the game four times. I think a lot of it has to do with my shot selection. With Sky [Diggins], we've been working on it and talking about it - getting shots in our offense and not trying to do too much. I think I was just open, and I was just hitting the shots today."

    On missing shots in the last few games...
    "I think it just makes you watch film a little bit more to see what exactly you're doing wrong. (Associate) Coach (Beth) Cunningham and I watched film and it was just basically my shot selection I think. I wasn't taking shots that I normally do. Once I got back into that rhythm, it was a lot better."

    On what it feels like when you make your first shot of the game...
    "It's a good feeling. I just think it's a momentum thing. It just gives you energy and intensity for the rest of the things like getting steals on defense and that tempo."

    On Coach McGraw...
    "I love how she's always challenging me. It's not about what I'm doing right it's about what I can get better at. I've always loved that about her. I think sometimes she thinks she's too hard on me but I actually secretly love it."

    Kaila Turner • Senior • Guard

    On her shooting today...
    "When I came into the game today, I was actually focusing more on my defense. I don't even remember my first three. But I guess it felt good and it went in. I really was just focusing on my defense, and my teammates found me and I was open, so I just try to knock them down when I can."

    On Coach McGraw...
    "I don't think we have enough time for everything I have to say about Coach McGraw. I will say that I think it's more than basketball with her. She makes me an all-around better person and I really respect her for that. I am lucky to play for her."

    Cincinnati Quotes

    Cincinnati Head Coach Jamelle Elliott

    On Kayla McBride's shooting to start the game...
    "She was tough - our goal was to go over top of screens and every time she came over top of that pick and roll at the elbow or handoff, she was able to get in a rhythm, pull up and shoot. She is a good player, and I think she is probably the heart of this team. She came out and played like that tonight and for her to get 17 points in the first half, that was really good on her part individually. It was probably one of the best individual performances I have seen all season long in the BIG EAST."

    On Notre Dame's defense in the first half...
    "All season long, we have been getting pressed and having trouble with some pressure, but I thought we handled it okay. It wasn't the pressure that got us, it was that fact that once we crossed half court we only had 10 or 11 seconds to actually get into our offense and get a shot up. If that is what they wanted to accomplish, then mission accomplished. We had to rush some shots and the end of the shot clock and started the game really cold shooting the ball from the field. I think we started the game off 0-for-9 and then got into a little bit of a rhythm after that. That's what good teams do, they try to get you out of your stuff early on, really put the pedal down early on and it was tough to climb out of that hole."

    On Dayeesha Hollins' career-low point total...
    "I thought she had some makeable shots and got to the rim, but missed some bunnies. Obviously, to Notre Dame's credit, she's our best player and everybody knows it and that we have trouble scoring and we expect every team we play to try and take her out of her game offensively. She had her season-low of six, but she didn't stop playing and kept being aggressive, and we had some other guys step up to take a little bit of that load off. It obviously wasn't enough to get us out of that hole, but she's our best player and we expect teams to double-team her and deny her and expect teams to get the ball out of her hands. Today she didn't have a good shooting night, 2-for-9, we struggled a little bit and when she's not scoring it is going to be tough for us to win games."

    On Coach McGraw's job this season...
    "People have been saying that without [Devereaux] Peters and [Natalie] Novosel that this was going to be a different team and we were talking it as a staff, although they may be a different team, they are accomplishing the same things. They haven't lost a beat and with Skylar Diggins being their leader and handling the ball a lot and McBride stepping up tremendously, Jewell Loyd has really made an impact with her shooting and athleticism. I attribute that to Muffet and her staff, even though they have lost some key guys, they have had other guys step up and recruiting quality athletes as freshmen that can come in and play right away. Looking at the stats and records, it shows they haven't lost a beat."

    On encouraging things for the team going forward...
    "I thought the second half we were even scoring with them, even though McBride didn't play a lot and had two points in the second half. I thought defensively we held them under their scoring average, they average 82 and we held them to 64 and even though she played the bench most of the second half, stats are stats. With my team struggling they way they are, I have to look at every small victory as an encouragement for them to make sure they believe that we are continuing to get better. This is something I talked to them about, and hopefully they feel encouraged going into the second half of BIG EAST Conference play."

    Dayeesha Hollins • Redshirt-Junior • Guard

    On what Notre Dame did defensively to slow her down...
    "They had a little bit of pressure, but it wasn't anything we were really surprised by. We knew they had a lot of pressure and were good on defense, so we knew it was coming, but it didn't slow us down as much as we anticipated it would."

    On Notre Dame's 10-0 run to start the game...
    "It is always tough when any team has a big run to start the game. We just have to try and not turn the ball over as much because it leads to easy baskets for them. We just need to find away to stop them from getting those easy buckets."

    On her career low in points and what Notre Dame did to slow her down...
    "I just need to find a way to make shots - that's my biggest thing. I just couldn't hit them today."

    On positives coming out of this game...
    "I think second half we stepped up defensively and offensively. I feel like our defense is always good, but the second half, our offense matched our defense.

    On Kayla McBride's offensive start to the game...
    "That pull up to the right side was her go-to today, and for some reason, we couldn't find a way to stop her from getting there. She found it and she was good at it today. It is hard to stop them after they start hitting a couple."

     

     

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